About Us

Our Mission

The Chicago Council of Lawyers is a non-partisan public interest bar association that is dedicated to improving the quality of justice in the legal system by advocating for fair and efficient administration of justice. The Chicago Council of Lawyers works for effectiveness, accountability and equity in the law so that everyone has an equal chance for justice.

We accomplish our mission with the help of a dedicated staff made up of lawyers, non-lawyers and volunteers in the Cook County area who contribute their knowledge of law, passion, and resources. The Chicago Council of Lawyers’ mission- to promote justice for all individuals locally and nationally- is exhibited by taking public positions on critical issues, writing legislation, working to create and pass bills at the local and state levels, speaking out through the media, collaborating with other organizations and holding public forums, and expressing our viewpoints directly to policymakers.

Since 1969, the Chicago Council of Lawyers has achieved many landmark accomplishments and through reports, evaluations, legislation, and speaking out on the important issues of the day, we have influenced our Chicago community in a constructive way. Thank you for your help and we look forward to working with you to promote positive change within our justice system.

Council History

The Chicago Council of Lawyers was organized in the summer of 1969 by a group of lawyers who believed that lawyers had obligations beyond those of other professions. These lawyers wanted to create an association of attorneys that would challenge the inadequacies of our legal system with a lawyer’s range of skills and expertise – and the bar responded. By October, 1969, over three hundred attorneys attended the first annual meeting of Chicago’s public interest bar association, the Chicago Council of Lawyers.

Since this time, numerous well-respected members of the bench and bar have held leadership positions in the Council. Past presidents include the former Chicago Corporation Counsel Judson H. Miner, Professor of Law and former Dean of the Northwestern University School of Law Robert W. Bennett, United States District Court Judge Elaine E. Bucklo, and former high-ranking United States Justice Department official John R. Schmidt.

Over the more than thirty years since that meeting the Council has worked for effectiveness, accountability and equity in the law from Cook County to Springfield and Washington D.C. By supporting the Council you support an organization dedicated to systemic reform, including judicial evaluations that are second to none.

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